The week's winners
Allianz up 16.2%
Royal & SunAlliance up 11.5%

The week's losers
SVB down 6.9%
Wellington Underwriting down 6.2%

Allianz was buoyed this week after setting out its plans to raise more than €4.4bn (£3bn) with a rights issue priced at €38 a share.

The German insurer badly needs to refill its coffers and make up for miserable investment returns and its Dresdner Bank unit, which seems unable to stop haemorrhaging money.

Despite the weakness of the equity markets, the rights issue should go a long way to stemming the sort of difficulties that led to Standard & Poor's cutting Allianz's strength rating to AA- last month.

But it also shows just how bad a situation its managers believe they face: the €38 price looks such a good buy, Commerzbank was prompted to headline its note: "Buy now while shocks last" and the €4.4bn to be raised compares well to the €3.5bn (£2.4bn) originally expected.

Elsewhere, former Aviva business and broker operation Sabre Insurance Company reported pre-tax profits of £11.75m on gross premium income of just under £50m.

Non-standard motor specialist Sabre's numbers add to the burgeoning weight of evidence suggesting that, although the motor market may have peaked overall, niche markets and specialist lines continue to prosper.

In the regional broker market, Yorkshire outfit Gale & Phillipson expanded its empire with the addition of Lancashire's WG Hancock.

The group's seventh acquisition in two years, it adds £1m to a turnover now totalling £14m.